US military instructors deployed to Ukraine to train local forces

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Paratroopers of the US 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vincenza, Italy, have arrived in western Ukraine to provide training for Ukrainian government troops.

The announcement came on US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt’s twitter account. The diplomat posted pictures of the US paratroopers marching through the airport in the western Ukrainian city of Lvov.

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Pyatt has not given the exact number of the servicemen deployed in Ukraine, but according to a Facebook post by Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, there should be some 290 US paratroopers. Avakov said that, under an agreement with the US State Department, long-term joint drills of US paratroopers and combat units of the Ukrainian National Guard, as well as training will take place at Yavorivky.

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The joint drills were agreed by Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and US Vice-President Joe Biden early in spring. The US paratroopers’ training will last for 24 weeks and involve some 900 servicemen, from several Ukrainian National Guard units.

In March, the UK started its training mission in Ukraine. It was planned that up to 75 troops at a time would be engaged in a six-month-long mission, training Kiev’s military “to strengthen the defensive capability of the Ukrainian armed forces and build the resilience that they need.”

Read more

UK troops start training Ukraine’s army, US confirms own mission

Russia has expressed its concerns over the military training of Ukrainian forces, saying such actions do not support conflict settlement in the east of the country.

“The presence of foreign instructors in Ukraine, where an internal conflict remains unresolved in southeast and where problems arise with the implementation of the Minsk peace agreement, does not help in settling the conflict and producing an environment beneficial for it. On the contrary, it destabilizes the situations,” said Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman.

Kiev and rebel forces signed a ceasefire deal in February, which involves the pullout of heavy weapons and a profound reform, which would address the grievances of the dissenting regions and reintegrate them into Ukraine. The deal has more or less held so far, with the level of violence in eastern Ukraine dropping significantly, OSCE monitors on the ground have reported.

READ MORE: US govt issues logistics support tender for 300 military personnel in Ukraine

But there is a high level of mistrust remaining among the rebels toward Kiev. The Ukrainian authorities don’t appear to be willing to resume social payments in the areas they don’t control, a measure specified in the ceasefire agreement.

Instead, they are investing heavily into rearming and training of the Ukrainian Army and National Guard. Combined with belligerent rhetoric dominating the political discourse in Ukraine, there is rising fear that Kiev plans a new offensive, instead of sticking to the peace plan.

Iraqi Caught Crossing US-Mexico Border was Military Trainer and Spoke Fluent Russian

http://launch.newsinc.com/share.html?trackingGroup=69016&siteSection=breitbart_nws_us_sty_vmppap&videoId=28861939

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We are under siege. Under attack from relentless, resourceful and remorseless enemies. And Obama say, “Fore!” –

“EXCLUSIVE: Iraqi Caught Crossing US-Mexico Border was Military Trainer and Spoke Fluent Russian,” Breitbart Texas, 7 Apr 2015 (thanks to Suzanne):

Breitbart Texas exclusively obtained leaked information on the Iraqi man who was apprehended while illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas on February 12, 2015. The Border Patrol agent responsible for interviewing the subject initially expressed concerns that the Iraqi was sent by Russia, largely due to the Iraqi man’s history as a military trainer, his speaking several languages, including Russian, and his having lived in Crimea, according to one of the leaked documents. Breitbart Texas was provided with two documents by a federal agent who works under the umbrella of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The agent insisted on remaining anonymous.

The Iraqi man is named Ahmed Adnan Taha, Al Khafaji. His date of birth is 6-25-84. He has one sister in the U.S., one in Turkey, three brothers in Turkey, one in Ukraine, one in New York State, and three brothers in Iraq, according to the leaked documents.

The Iraqi told U.S. authorities that he spoke fluent Russian and lived in Crimea prior to the Russian invasion. He further stated that a Ukrainian paid $4,000 for him to get to the U.S., however, the Iraqi refused to identify the Ukrainian to U.S. authorities.

The public statement given by Border Patrol at the time of the Iraqi’s apprehension stated, “On Thursday, February 12, 2015, RGV Border Patrol Agents encountered an adult Middle Eastern male south of Pharr, Texas. The subject was taken into custody and transported to the Border Patrol station for further processing. The subject was setup for Expedited Removal back to his country of origin and transferred to the custody of ICE/ERO.”

Breitbart Texas recently asked the Border Patrol agency about the specifics in this report and their spokesman for the Rio Grande Valley Sector (RGV) responded, “All record checks were conducted, our federal partners did interview the subject with no derogatory information being found.”

It is significant to note that Border Patrol processing an individual does not mean that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actually deported the individual.

Breitbart Texas provides images of both leaked documents below. The second document contains copy-and-pasted information from the official report, according to the federal agent who provided the information. The typos in the report were contained in the original and therefore included. Breitbart Texas redacted the TECS ID number.

– See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2015/04/iraqi-caught-crossing-us-mexico-border-was-military-trainer-and-spoke-fluent-russian.html/#sthash.0PzHWfVJ.dpuf

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Crimea Ready to Deploy Nuclear Weapons Systems on Russian President’s Order

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Crimean head Sergei Aksenov said that Crimea will welcome the deployment of nuclear weapons in the republic if Russian President Vladimir Putin deems it necessary.

SIMFEROPOL (Sputnik) Crimea will welcome the deployment of nuclear weapons in the republic if Russian President Vladimir Putin deems it necessary, Crimean head Sergei Aksenov told Sputnik.

“If there is such an order from the supreme commander, we would support it,” Aksenov said.

On Wednesday, the chair of Russian State Duma Defense Committee, Vladimir Komoyedov, said that needed, Russia was ready to place nuclear weapons in Crimea.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed on Wednesday speculations by US billionaire Donald Trump and the Western media of “nuclear rhetoric” in Putin’s remarks in a documentary on Crimea’s reunification with Russia that was aired last week. The media claimed that Putin had said in the documentary that Russia was ready to put its nuclear forces on alert to protect Crimea and the Crimeans against potential aggression.

© SPUTNIK/ IGOR RUSSAK

Kremlin Dismisses Claims of ‘Nuclear Rhetoric’ in Putin’s Crimea Remarks

Crimea rejoined Russia in March 2014, after 96 percent of the peninsula’s population voted in favor of a reunification deal.

In a speech following the referendum, Russian President Putin pointed out that it was held in full compliance with democratic procedure and international rule of law.

The West has refused to recognize the results of the vote, labeling Crimea’s secession an “annexation,” and have introduced several rounds of economic sanctions against Moscow.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/russia/20150327/1020078568.html#ixzz3VbSmssbu

5,000 Military Servicemen to Take Part in Norway Drills Near Russian Border

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About 5,000 servicemen and 400 units of military equipment will be involved in the “Joint Viking” exercises that kick off on Monday in the north of Norway, not far from the Russian border.

MURMANSK (Sputnik) – The drills are the largest to take place in the region since 1967, Lt. Col. Aleksander Jankov, a spokesman for the Norwegian Armed Forces, said in an interview with Nordlys, a local newspaper, adding that all types of weapons will be used in the exercises.
According to Jankov, Lakselv and Alta (located in Norway’s Finnmark county) will be the main sites of the drills. Finnmark is in the extreme northeastern part of Norway and borders the Russian Murmansk Region.

Norway, alongside NATO, suspended all military cooperation with Moscow following Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March of last year. NATO has been accusing Russia of interfering in the conflict in Ukraine’s southeast and claiming that Russia has been helping independence supporters in their fight against Kiev forces.
The claims have not been proven with any factual evidence and Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in Ukraine’s internal affairs.

Russia has also expressed concern over NATO’s expansion eastward and the buildup of NATO forces along its borders, which the alliance launched last spring, amid the Ukrainian conflict.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20150309/1019235467.html#ixzz3U00rkg5a

NATO is using Ukraine crisis to advance towards Russian borders – Defense Ministry

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NATO is using the situation in Ukraine to push closer to Russia’s border, according to the Russian deputy defense minister. He says the Alliance’s activities have expanded considerably over the past years.

In their push, Anatoly Antonov says Allied forces are ignoring diplomacy.

“We’ve noticed that NATO member states are using the situation in southeastern Ukraine as a pretext to discard all diplomatic conventions, tricks and slogans and push forward, closer to the Russian border.”

According to the minister, what NATO is doing is completely out of proportion with what NATO commanders call the build-up of Russian forces on its side of the border in Ukraine. “NATO’s activities are many times greater than Russia’s.”

However, he added they aren’t a threat to Russia’s security.

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All of this is being done to restrain Russia and punish it for refusing to play along with rules set by the West, according to the official.

“Instead of uniting forces to fight evil, the worst of which is terrorism, Western nations are drawing new divisive lines, trying to realize containment schemes against unwelcome states. Today, Russia has been chosen as the target.”

He added that NATO currently can’t be considered the pillar of world freedom and security it is cracked up to be.

All this doesn’t bode well for relations between the US and Russia, Antonov said.

“Throughout my military and diplomatic career, I haven’t seen another period when Russian-American relations have been so difficult.”

The activities he was referring to include massive wargames in Eastern Europe and naval exercises in the Black Sea. On Wednesday, warships from the US, Turkey, Italy, Canada and Romania started drills there.

Another example is the NATO military parade on February 24, held just 300 meters from the Russian border, in the Estonian town of Narva. About 140 pieces of armor and 10 times as many troops, including US soldiers, took part in that event.

Moscow saw it as a stab in its direction, but Estonia defended its right to host a parade, saying it can move military whichever way it likes on its territory – the same argument used by Russia when accused of military build-up along its borders.

US armor paraded 300m from Russian border (VIDEO)

The US is sending 600 paratroopers to Ukraine by the end of this week. US 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Colonel Michael Foster announced this at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC on Monday.

The forces will stay there for six months, with the stated goal of training the Ukrainian National Guard. However, the operation could grow bigger.

“Initially, the plan is to go for six months,” said Colonel Foster. “There have been discussions on how to increase both the duration of that event and the scope, the other things the US can assist with from a military perspective.”

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aleksandr Lukashevich, said on Thursday that 300 American troops are already in Ukraine, training local servicemen near the city of Lvov.

The Ukrainian Defense ministry has denied Russia’s claims of US military instructors already being in the country.

“We don’t confirm this. It is the news from 12 years ago. Today it’s a fake,” the ministry’s spokeswoman,Viktoria Kushnir, told the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

The spokesman for a region Defense Ministry media-center in Lvov, Aleksandr Poronyuk, also said the information “doesn’t correspond with reality.”

When asked if the training program will be used to send lethal aid to Ukraine should the US decide to do so, Colonel Foster said a “secondary method” will be used for that.

The Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the US push to give lethal aid to Kiev especially “in light of the rather successful implementation of ceasefire agreements reached on February 12.”

“Weapon supplies may cause not only the failure of the ceasefire and a new escalation of violence in the south east (of Ukraine), but also pose a threat to Russia’s security,” Lukashevich stressed.

RUSSIAN FIGHTER JETS PRACTICE ATTACKING NATO SHIPS

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Tensions over Ukraine continue to build despite ceasefire

by PAUL JOSEPH WATSON | MARCH 4, 2015

Russian fighter jets are practicing attacking NATO ships in the Black Sea in another dramatic sign that tensions over Ukraine continue to build despite a fragile ceasefire agreed last month.

“Russia’s newest Su-30 fighter jets and Su-24 attack bombers are using two NATO ships in the Black Sea to practice penetrating anti-air systems,” reports Sputnik, citing a source at the Sevastopol naval base.

Asserting that the NATO ships are conducting drills based around “repelling air attacks,” Moscow is taking the opportunity to practice “maneuvering and conducting aerial reconnaissance” outside the range of the ships in order to “practice attack scenarios”.

The report also states that Russia is closely monitoring the movements of the ships, namely the USS Vicksburg missile cruiser and the Turkish TCG Turgutreis frigate, and the assignments they are performing.

Three Su-30 jets and four Su-24 bombers carried out reconnaissance on the ships yesterday.

The exercises coincide with an unannounced test of nuclear weapons near the central Russian city Yoshkar-Ola. Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) said the exercise was based around an assessment of the “condition and security provisions” of nuclear weapons in the Yoshkar-Ola Missile Unit, which is armed with the Topol intercontinental nuclear-capable ballistic missile complex.

Russia has also sought to demonstrate its military might with a series of maneuvers over sovereign European airspace. The latest incident involved two Tu-95 ‘Bear’ long-range strategic bombers which flew 40 kilometers off the Irish coast with their transponders turned off, forcing air traffic control to re-route commercial flights to avoid a collision.

Sporadic fighting in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian rebels and Kiev forces continues to be reported despite an agreement from both sides to withdraw heavy weapons from the region. At least 6,000 people have been killed since the conflict erupted last year.

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Obama pretends to be a democrat, not a fascist

by ERIC ZUESSE

MARCH 3, 2015

A much-ignored huge news report from Reuters on Friday, February 27th, was headlined “Chinese diplomat tells West to consider Russia’s security concerns over Ukraine.”

China’s Ambassador to Belgium (which has the capital of the EU) said that the “nature and root cause” of the Ukrainian conflict is “the West,” and that “The West should abandon the zero-sum mentality, and take the real security concerns of Russia into consideration.”

By “real security concerns,” he is clearly referring to NATO’s expansion right up to Russia’s border, and America’s surrounding Russia with U.S. military bases, now inceasingly including the most strategic of Russia’s bordering countries: Ukraine.

In other words, this diplomat says: “the West” has a “zero-sum” attitude toward Russia, instead of seeking to move forward with an approach in which neither side among the nuclear superpowers benefits at the other’s expense — the entire world moves forward together.

This is a direct criticism of Barack Obama, and of all of the pro-Obama, anti-Putin, EU leaders.

It’s also an implicit repudiation of Obama’s having repeatedly referred to the U.S. as “the one indispensable nation.” (Another example of that phrase is here.) Obama keeps saying: every other nation, except the U.S., is “dispensable.” He clearly thinks that Russia is.

That’s not merely an insult: it’s an act of provocation; it is virtually asking for a fight. And all for what? For whose nuclear char?

This criticism of the aggressive nationalist Obama does not come from China’s top leadership, but it would not have come at all if they had not approved of it in advance.

China thus now tells Obama: Stop it. Stop it in word, and in deed.

Implicitly, China is also telling Obama: China is not dispensable, either. In fact, the entire mentality, which Obama embodies, is not just callous and insulting; it’s dangerous.

Like President G.W. Bush, Obama is increasingly an embarassment to his country.

Shortly before Obama’s coup in Ukraine, Gallup International issued, on 30 December 2013, a poll of 65 countries, which found that:

“The US was the overwhelming choice (24% of respondents) for the country that represents the greatest threat to peace in the world today. This was followed by Pakistan (8%), China (6%), North Korea, Israel and Iran (5%). Respondents in Russia (54%), China (49%) and Bosnia (49%) were the most fearful of the US as a threat.”

More details of that poll were reported here.

When the U.S. Government is hankering for a war with the only other nuclear superpower, such findings certainly make sense. And the 54% of Russians who cited the U.S. as the greatest threat to peace would probably be far higher today. But Gallup International didn’t publish any update on that poll-question, perhaps because the original financial backer (which was unnamed) wouldn’t fund it.

Already, the finding was bad enough. But Obama keeps calling the U.S. “the one indispensable nation in the world.” He keeps telling other nations: you are dispensable. He keeps rubbing it in — not the fact, but his own nationalism.

It reminds some people of Mussolini, and of Hitler. But Obama pretends to be a democrat, not a fascist.

Maybe he’s just a bigger liar than they were. Maybe that’s what he is so arrogant about: his terrific ability to deceive.

After all, he won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for it: for lying. For misrepresenting himself as being progressive, instead of regressive.

Well, now: anyone who doesn’t know the reality is deluded by propaganda — and it’s not coming from Russia, nor from China. It’s coming from their own nation’s ‘news’ media.

Which heads-of-state want to be publicly associated with a foreign leader like that, one who tells the given leader’s public: your nation is dispensable. Fools. Only fools.

Obama is encouraging other countries to oppose the United States.

Wow. He’s the black George W. Bush.